3 reasons Chargers S Derwin James could be a DPOY candidate in 2020

Chris Harris, Chargers
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

An Improved Supporting Cast

Football is the ultimate team sport. Although Derwin can play virtually any position on defense, he does not have to because the Chargers have three very good corners and two proficient pass rushers. This gives James some freedom at safety to sit back and be a playmaker. If he were confined to one specific role, it completely limits his potential, but that won’t be the case.

With Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram coming off of the edge, quarterbacks are constantly in fear. Fear causes mistakes. Mistakes that an instinctive talent like James will capitalize on, whether it’s 50/50 throws downfield, underthrown balls to receivers, or the QB’s timing getting thrown off, the star safety will be able to capitalize.

The Chargers’ corners will also play a major role in James’ success. Desmond King, Casey Hayward Jr, and newly signed Chris Harris will act as filters in what is probably the most talented secondary in the NFL. When the Chargers man up on receivers, opposing QBs never have a clear advantage. This means more frustration throws and more throws based on timing.

With three Pro Bowl corners, it gives defensive coordinator Gus Bradley the freedom to use James however he wants. James can play centerfield and hawk down any deep throws where the QB trusts his receiver’s speed. That is where his instincts come into play as he can disrupt the timing of most throws near his area.